NBA: Giannis, LeBron keep balloting lead for All-Star game

AFP , Thursday 11 Jan 2024

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and Los Angeles Lakers playmaker LeBron James remained the top vote-getters in updated fan balloting returns for next month's NBA All-Star Game revealed on Thursday.

Giannis Antetokounmpo   LeBron James
File Photo: Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo and Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James. Photo courtesy of NBA website.

 

Starters for the 73rd edition of the annual showdown of elite talent -- set for February 18 at Indianapolis -- will be determined by a formula that includes 50% fan voting and 25% each from NBA players and a media panel.

Greek star big man Antetokounmpo led the Eastern Conference and NBA overall with 3,475,698 while James set the Western Conference pace and was second overall on 3,096,031.

Voting will conclude on January 20 with NBA All-Star Game starters to be revealed on January 25.

Joining Antetokounmpo in the East frontcourt starting positions were reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid of Philadelphia with 2,975,987 votes and Boston's Jayson Tatum on 2,939,663.

Setting the pace for East guards is Indiana's Tyrese Haliburton on 2,192,810 with Atlanta's Trae Young moving into second place on 1,449,485 ahead of Milwaukee's third-place Damian Lillard on 1,414,122.

In the West frontcourt, four-time NBA MVP James is joined by two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic of reigning NBA champion Denver on 2,777,068 with Phoenix's Kevin Durant a close-behind third on 2,773,809. Anthony Davis of the Lakers is a distant fourth on 1,487,434.

Among West guards, Luka Doncic of Dallas leads with 2,508,618 votes while Golden State's Stephen Curry is second on 2,126,037.

The roster selection format has changed for this year's All-Star Game with the lineups returning to an Eastern Conference versus Western Conference format.

For the past six seasons, the top vote-getter from each conference would serve as a captain and select his roster from a draft of the other players named as starters.

That format saw James serve as a captain six times, winning five in a row until losing last year to a team captained by Antetokounmpo. James collected earlier wins over clubs captained by Curry, Durant and Antetokounmpo.

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